Enforcement - Responsibilities

Explains overlap between CAA & other bodies relating to aircraft H&S issues.

Enforcement Responsibilities - CAA and HSE/HSE Northern Ireland

There is some overlap of Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) legislation within UK in relation to aircraft  . Two pieces of legislation, the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and the Civil Aviation (Working Time) Regulations 2004, can in theory both be applied to certain health and safety issues within the aircraft.

Enforcement of OH&S is shared between two bodies - the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). The HSE and CAA have worked closely together and have set out in a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and a set of complementary annexes the detail of the agreed approach to dovetailing the separate enforcement responsibilities. Similar arrangements are in place for Northern Ireland where the Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) operate. A separate Memorandum of Understanding is in place between the CAA and HSENI.  Responsibility for the completeness, currency and effectiveness of the MOU is vested in a co-chaired HSE/CAA Joint Coordination Group.

The HSE enforce the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and associated legislation. Further information and guidance can be found on the HSE website.  This HSE legislation covers workers and members of the public anywhere in Great Britain. Under the MoU however the HSE do not enforce health and safety legislation in relation to crew members (flight and cabin crew) of UK operators when on board the aircraft.
The CAA enforce a general health and safety duty set out in the Civil Aviation (Working Time) Regulations 2004 for the protection of crew members of UK operators while on the aircraft. The Civil Aviation (Working Time) Regulations 2004 is a separate piece of legislation and does not directly mirror the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and associated legislation. The CAA however has drawn on existing good practice including HSE standards and guidance and adapted it to the aircraft environment.  This guidance can be found in CAA publication CAP757.  The CAA enforcement officer for the UK (Working Time) Regulations 2004 is the CAA Health, Safety and Environmental Adviser.

There is one specific exception to these arrangements and relates to employee and employer consultation arrangements. The Regulations that cover consultation are the Safety Representatives and Safety Committee Regulations 1977 and the Health and Safety (Consultation with Employees) Regulations 1996 and remain the sole enforcement jurisdiction of the HSE. These Regulations encompass all employees, including aircraft crew members. It should be noted that the HSE would only take enforcement action under this legislation once all other avenues of conciliation have been exhausted and in accordance with the HSC Enforcement Policy.